IndieSpace Offers Milk & Egg Grants to Struggling Artists

IndieSpace Offers Milk & Egg Grants
 to Struggling Artists

IndieSpace, an organization established to disrupt the ongoing displacement of small theaters and to create a new model for equitable funding for the indie theater community, recently distributed Milk and Eggs (Cost of Living) Grants to 81 NYC-based Indie theater artists in need of funds to offset the increases in cost of living. 350 eligible applications were received, with funds prioritized to BIPOC, Trans/Non-Binary, Disabled/Deaf, and Immigrant artists. 

“The economic downturn in the US has been especially difficult for theatre makers based in New York City,” said Azure D. Osborne-Lee, Theatre Maker and Founding Producer of Roots & River Productions. “It feels like everything is more expensive than ever! I suggested a Cost of Living grant to IndieSpace to help artists in this difficult time. One thing I truly appreciate about IndieSpace is their willingness to listen and step up when artists need them most.” 

The United States Social Security Administration has predicted an 8.7% increase in the cost of living for 2023. Anyone who has gone grocery shopping or paid an energy bill has felt that. Unfortunately wages aren’t following at the same pace. In an effort to respond to the evolving world and our communities’ need for individual support, IndieSpace opened an emergency Milk and Eggs (Cost of Living) Grant which awarded 81 indie theater makers $250 micro grants to use toward things like groceries, housing, or any bills that have increased over the last year. This number is based on approximately 2 months of the increase of Social Security benefits for individuals. It is IndieSpace’s hope that by providing this financial resource, they can make a small dent in the burden of the increased cost of living, even if just for a couple of months. 

“Ticket sales have been more solid the last two months and there is an energy around the theater again,” said Randi Berry, Executive Director of IndieSpace. “Unfortunately, that does not mean the individuals working in these spaces are fully back on their feet. Three years of inconsistent work, the affordable housing crisis and the very high cost of food and energy and supplies is taking a toll on artists. Recovery will take a long time and we must support arts workers when they need it if we want them to remain in NYC.”

IndieSpace is working hard to advocate for and grow this initiative, with the goal of serving every artist in need of this funding. 124 applications were received in the first weekend, 86 of which were received on the first day. To date, 350 applications have been received, with 91% of applicants identifying as BIPOC, trans, immigrant, or disabled. To donate to the Milk and Eggs fund please visit

IndieSpace was established in 2016 to disrupt the ongoing displacement of small theaters and to address systemic inequities in NYC real estate. In 2022, it merged with Indie Theater Fund, an organization focused on a new model for equitable funding for the indie theater community. By contributing a nickel per ticket from their shows to a pot of money for funding, the indie theater community could create a method of self-sustainability and could rethink philanthropy and the process of grant making. Through radically transparent and equitable grants, community resources and advocacy, the Fund supported hundreds of indie theater companies and thousands of individual artists.    
Since its founding, IndieSpace has: consulted with 70+ venues making real estate decisions, including The Tank, FRIGID New York, The Chain, The Wild Project, Wooster Group, and Classical Theater of Harlem; helped 18 organizations sign new leases; saved seven theaters from being closed or repurposed; created four real estate operation partnerships; walked one venue through the purchase of their new home. During Covid, IndieSpace supported over 50 venues navigating their leases by helping them stay open, and also provided over $1.5M in relief grants to the indie theater community. In 2023 IndieSpace opened the West Village Rehearsal Co-Op with HERE Arts Center, New Ohio and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. This 99-year lease for $1 per year will serve over 1,500 artists per year. For service to the community, IndieSpace received the Ellen Stewart Award and a citation from the City Council of New York 

Published by malinism

Malini is a native New Yorker who has been involved in the arts for her entire life. She's served the theatre in many aspects of which she's very proud – actress, director, producer, stage manager, costume designer, prop designer, theatre reviewer, publicist and most recently writer/monologist. She received her BA in Theatre Arts and English Literature from Baruch College and her MFA in Directing from the Actors Studio Drama School. In 2003, Malini and her husband, Ian, created Black Henna Productions with a handful of innovative artists. Every member of the company collaborates on every piece, either writing, acting, directing, designing, or filling any other role that fit their own personal skills with a commitment to bring new, exciting, and challenging theatre to the world. She is an associate member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women. Malini received the Woman of Distinction Award for her contribution to Media, Arts and Culture from the City of New York in 2008. She is also a Person of Godspell which ran at Circle in the Square on Broadway from 2011-2012.

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